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The pharmacological cost of COPD during Greek economic crisis

Authors Stafyla E, Kerenidi T, Gerogianni I, Geitona M, Daniil Z, Gourgoulianis KI

Received 23 September 2016

Accepted for publication 10 December 2016

Published 31 January 2017 Volume 2017:12 Pages 461—466


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Russell

Eirini Stafyla,1 Theodora Kerenidi,1 Irini Gerogianni,1 Mary Geitona,2 Zoe Daniil,1 Konstantinos I Gourgoulianis1

Respiratory Medicine Department, University of Thessaly School of Medicine, University Hospital of Larissa, Larissa, 2Department of Social Policy, University of Peloponnese, Korithos, Greece

Introduction: The economic crisis in Greece has substantially affected patients with COPD. The reduction of disposable income has its consequences on patients’ ability to afford their medication. The aim of the study is to evaluate the cost of treatment for patients with COPD and the influence of the financial crisis to the patients.
Methods: Data were collected from 189 patients (male: 178, mean age: 70.1±8.4) who visited the outpatient department of University Hospital of Larissa in 2014 and 2015. The pharmacological cost of treatment was calculated based on national pharmaceutical formulary prices.
Results: COPD patients were classified into four stages according to Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD): 7.4% were in stage I, 43.4% in stage II, 34.4% in stage III, and 14.8% in stage IV. Patients were graded as per GOLD as follows: 18% as grade A, 14.3% as B, 23.3% as C, and 44.4% as D. The annual cost of COPD maintenance treatment per patient was €952.92 (±398.01), of which €239.91 were patients’ expenses. The annual treatment cost for stable disease ranged from €615.44 to €1302.03 depending on disease stages (GOLD stages I–IV) and from €715.01 to €1101.05 depending on GOLD grades (grades A–D). The cost of maintenance medication was statistically and significantly higher for patients with advanced disease (GOLD stages III–IV) and for patients at high risk (GOLD grades C–D [P=0.000]).
Conclusion: The pharmacological cost of treatment for COPD patients seems to be considerably high, in all disease stages. As the average income is decreased, patients face difficulties to afford inhaled medication.

Keywords: COPD, maintenance treatment, pharmacological cost, economic crisis

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